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Envy123

Programmer art in a Kickstarter

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I'm currently making a prototype the best that I can, and I made a simple room where my first scene is going to be. I've also made some characters, but apparently open-source mocap files are incompatible with their rigs so I need to go through the painful process of learning to animate a simple scene. That's not a problem.

 

The problem is that the way that I see it now, while I can design the game's main mechanics (and that is the dialogue trees), I'm not an artist and everything either comes from CGTextures or BlendSwap. I'm worried that the game would not get funded if it has a good story but crappy graphics and animations, and I'm getting a little discouraged by seeing successful campaigns having very good art while my game has no good art.

 

The benefit (or maybe hindrance) is that the game's art style is semi-realistic - it's partly there but its lightmaps are no good.

 

So, is having programmer art for a Kickstarter demo/prototype acceptable? And if not, is it possible to get artists to work on an equity share with a working prototype which needs polish? I know it's close to impossible with just an idea but I heard that it's more likely with a prototype.

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Well, I don't really want to sound overly pessimistic, and really, I have little data to back up my claims, but some common sense will pretty much answer that question for you.

 

Whatever you want to sell, you need to sell to your target audience. Now, generally on Crowd sourcing sites such as Kickstarter you are "selling" to your future audience... gamers that might want to play your future game. As such, even trying to explain to them what "programmer art" is is going to be a tough nut.

 

Now, there are different thresholds for what makes art "acceptable", "good" or "awesome" in players eyes. Not only is every person different, but also different genres bring different expectations with them, shaped both by the general needs of the genre and the titles that were released before. Then there are special niches that make "not so good" art more acceptable... retro style gaming, for example (and thats the main reason for the tide of "pixel style" graphics). 

 

 

So no, programmer art will most probably not cut it anymore on Kickstarter. You might get away with it if you try to pitch your game prototype to a studio or publisher (if you had the expierience to back up the claims that you can build that game in the first place)... you will not get away with it if have to pitch to your potential customers, gamers.

 

On the plus side, just because some games are coming to Kickstarter with much better graphics than you do, doesn't mean you couldn't have success with your art style. Your games graphics have to suit your game first and foremost, and be accepted by your potential customers. Sometimes you can be surprised what graphics are still accepted by gamers, and even manage to be quite successfull with their "programmer like art" (See minecraft or thomas was alone).

 

 

Finding an artist ready to work on such a basis might prove challenging. You do bring a prototype with you, that will make things much easier (the artist can see you are serious about the project, and being able to get into a project with the technical side already in place means he can see his art moving as soon as he finishes it... both things are motivation boosts to the artist).

Maybe see if you can find somebody on deviantart ready to work with you? Or put up a classified here on gamedev to see if you can find a hobbyist that is looking to form a team. Generally there are more artists looking for a gig around than programmers, so its easier that way around.

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Well, I don't really want to sound overly pessimistic, and really, I have little data to back up my claims, but some common sense will pretty much answer that question for you.

 

Whatever you want to sell, you need to sell to your target audience. Now, generally on Crowd sourcing sites such as Kickstarter you are "selling" to your future audience... gamers that might want to play your future game. As such, even trying to explain to them what "programmer art" is is going to be a tough nut.

 

Now, there are different thresholds for what makes art "acceptable", "good" or "awesome" in players eyes. Not only is every person different, but also different genres bring different expectations with them, shaped both by the general needs of the genre and the titles that were released before. Then there are special niches that make "not so good" art more acceptable... retro style gaming, for example (and thats the main reason for the tide of "pixel style" graphics). 

 

 

So no, programmer art will most probably not cut it anymore on Kickstarter. You might get away with it if you try to pitch your game prototype to a studio or publisher (if you had the expierience to back up the claims that you can build that game in the first place)... you will not get away with it if have to pitch to your potential customers, gamers.

 

On the plus side, just because some games are coming to Kickstarter with much better graphics than you do, doesn't mean you couldn't have success with your art style. Your games graphics have to suit your game first and foremost, and be accepted by your potential customers. Sometimes you can be surprised what graphics are still accepted by gamers, and even manage to be quite successfull with their "programmer like art" (See minecraft or thomas was alone).

 

 

Finding an artist ready to work on such a basis might prove challenging. You do bring a prototype with you, that will make things much easier (the artist can see you are serious about the project, and being able to get into a project with the technical side already in place means he can see his art moving as soon as he finishes it... both things are motivation boosts to the artist).

Maybe see if you can find somebody on deviantart ready to work with you? Or put up a classified here on gamedev to see if you can find a hobbyist that is looking to form a team. Generally there are more artists looking for a gig around than programmers, so its easier that way around.

 

Thank you - very helpful :)

 

I plan to post screenshots on Polycount and get good and honest feedback on how to make the assets look better, including all those fancy maps. Don't know which maps are supposed to be used for which materials, as I haven't found that much info on that, so I'm hoping to get insight on it. Lightmaps are also overlapping so I would need to somehow fix that.

 

The graphics are partly there in terms of what I envisioned the game to be. I say partly, because of the maps and lightmaps. I'm also not quite good at animating but I'm getting there.

 

With your advice, I'll definitely attempt to find someone who would overhaul my prototype for a share. Thank you :)

 

How long should a demo be? I had developed the demo to be a small scene in a small map but it's only going to be a few minutes long, what with my writer's scripts and all.

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Thank you - very helpful smile.png

 

I plan to post screenshots on Polycount and get good and honest feedback on how to make the assets look better, including all those fancy maps. Don't know which maps are supposed to be used for which materials, as I haven't found that much info on that, so I'm hoping to get insight on it. Lightmaps are also overlapping so I would need to somehow fix that.

 

The graphics are partly there in terms of what I envisioned the game to be. I say partly, because of the maps and lightmaps. I'm also not quite good at animating but I'm getting there.

 

With your advice, I'll definitely attempt to find someone who would overhaul my prototype for a share. Thank you smile.png

 

How long should a demo be? I had developed the demo to be a small scene in a small map but it's only going to be a few minutes long, what with my writer's scripts and all.

 

 

Well, see, if shader inputs and lightmaps are your main problem, you do not need an artist yet... these kind of things are more or less technical problems that do not need artistic skill, but some knowhow in 3D rendering. You as a programmer can easely fix these problems provided you get some input from people with the needed knowledge.

 

I would advise you to open up a Thread in the correct place (beginner forum, most likely, maybe graphics programming or visual art, depending on where the root of the problem lies) and ask about it, giving the needed information as to what exactly is the problem is and maybe some pictures how it looks at the moment.

 

 

This forum is not the right place to discuss such problems, so I will refrain from answering such art related questions here.

 

 

Of course, having an artist will help you in the long run... BUT: don't expect your artist to fix your lightmaps. Some big studios have lighting specialists, some artist might be quite knowledgeable about such game engine specific topics, but generally, I would try to fix lightmaps and stuff like that myself. It is a fringe topic, half art, half technical, so instead of counting on getting an artist that is also knowledgeable in technical matters and knows the game engine, I would try to get the needed art related knowledge to fix such topics myself.

 

 

Your demo length needs to be long enough to make people want more, and short enough to leave them wanting more... TL;DR: there is no perfect length.

Personally I would make it long enough that people get a) a good idea what your game will be about, b) you can show off most of your unique selling points, your  games highlight mechanics so to speak, and c) the demo looks lengthy and complete enough that it looks professional and not half baked.

I think a single level can be enough, if you either pick ther right one or build a special demo level. Make sure what you show is highly polished instead of trying to squeeze in more unpolished stuff.

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If I were you I would find an artist who can maybe help you draw up some concept images that might help sell your game. If you show that at the moment you have placeholder art but if the funding is raised you can pay an artist to create art and this is what the art style will look like you might have a better chance of successfully getting funded. 

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Thank you - very helpful smile.png

 

I plan to post screenshots on Polycount and get good and honest feedback on how to make the assets look better, including all those fancy maps. Don't know which maps are supposed to be used for which materials, as I haven't found that much info on that, so I'm hoping to get insight on it. Lightmaps are also overlapping so I would need to somehow fix that.

 

The graphics are partly there in terms of what I envisioned the game to be. I say partly, because of the maps and lightmaps. I'm also not quite good at animating but I'm getting there.

 

With your advice, I'll definitely attempt to find someone who would overhaul my prototype for a share. Thank you smile.png

 

How long should a demo be? I had developed the demo to be a small scene in a small map but it's only going to be a few minutes long, what with my writer's scripts and all.

 

 

Well, see, if shader inputs and lightmaps are your main problem, you do not need an artist yet... these kind of things are more or less technical problems that do not need artistic skill, but some knowhow in 3D rendering. You as a programmer can easely fix these problems provided you get some input from people with the needed knowledge.

 

I would advise you to open up a Thread in the correct place (beginner forum, most likely, maybe graphics programming or visual art, depending on where the root of the problem lies) and ask about it, giving the needed information as to what exactly is the problem is and maybe some pictures how it looks at the moment.

 

 

This forum is not the right place to discuss such problems, so I will refrain from answering such art related questions here.

 

 

Of course, having an artist will help you in the long run... BUT: don't expect your artist to fix your lightmaps. Some big studios have lighting specialists, some artist might be quite knowledgeable about such game engine specific topics, but generally, I would try to fix lightmaps and stuff like that myself. It is a fringe topic, half art, half technical, so instead of counting on getting an artist that is also knowledgeable in technical matters and knows the game engine, I would try to get the needed art related knowledge to fix such topics myself.

 

 

Your demo length needs to be long enough to make people want more, and short enough to leave them wanting more... TL;DR: there is no perfect length.

Personally I would make it long enough that people get a) a good idea what your game will be about, b) you can show off most of your unique selling points, your  games highlight mechanics so to speak, and c) the demo looks lengthy and complete enough that it looks professional and not half baked.

I think a single level can be enough, if you either pick ther right one or build a special demo level. Make sure what you show is highly polished instead of trying to squeeze in more unpolished stuff.

 

 

Oh right - well, that's a good thing that a programmer could fix those things. :)

 

And because of the nature of the game, I'm going to be making a polished small scene with my writer's script. Thank you :)

 

If I were you I would find an artist who can maybe help you draw up some concept images that might help sell your game. If you show that at the moment you have placeholder art but if the funding is raised you can pay an artist to create art and this is what the art style will look like you might have a better chance of successfully getting funded. 

 

That could be an option, given that my game's setting would be based on certain real-life places (or loosely based, if my local council objects to me using their sporting facilities as a game's setting, I have to contact them and ask). :)

 

But the concept artist I know has pencil and paper, and it may not give an accurate view on the exact style.

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I had talks with the leader of one total conversion I used to work on, and we agreed that I could use the custom assets in my own game as long as I pay him a 5% royalty per sale. And the assets look pretty good already, even though they don't have normal maps yet.

 

Here's where it gets tricky. I am making a short tech demo on Unity to show my potential backers that I am serious. But I was told that I would need to pay a programmer to write code to automatically convert the world from the total conversion's engine to Unity. Now, I was able to pay for the pre-made systems which would make development quicker and more effective, but I cannot afford at the moment for a conversion tool.

 

Is it fine to show screenshots of the locations in the old total conversion engine (it's open-source but non-standard) and offer a tech demo of a new place on a completely different engine? Or would the inconsistency be a turn-off for potential backers?

 

Thanks :)

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I had talks with the leader of one total conversion I used to work on, and we agreed that I could use the custom assets in my own game as long as I pay him a 5% royalty per sale. And the assets look pretty good already, even though they don't have normal maps yet.

 

Here's where it gets tricky. I am making a short tech demo on Unity to show my potential backers that I am serious. But I was told that I would need to pay a programmer to write code to automatically convert the world from the total conversion's engine to Unity. Now, I was able to pay for the pre-made systems which would make development quicker and more effective, but I cannot afford at the moment for a conversion tool.

 

Is it fine to show screenshots of the locations in the old total conversion engine (it's open-source but non-standard) and offer a tech demo of a new place on a completely different engine? Or would the inconsistency be a turn-off for potential backers?

 

Thanks smile.png

 

Could you go into more detail as to what you are trying to do here?

 

So you are developing a new game in a new Engine (Unity), and you take 3D Assets from an old Mod (Conversion = Mod?), to speed up building a prototype / demo in Unity for potential backers to see?

 

Can you go into more detail as to why the scene ("World" = Scene?) cannot be exported to an obj or fbx file and imported that way to unity? I guess we are going offtopic here and these questions should be asked either in the visual arts forum or one of the engine or programming subforums, but I would really try first if you cannot get your hand on a version of the scene that can be imported into unity without having to write a custom importer... that sounds like an extreme amount of overhead for a demo.

 

You should ask the original creator how he created the scene... if he did it in Blender, Maya or similar 3D tools, you can probably ask him for an .obj or .fbx file (Unity will import almost all the common 3D formats, even .blender files).

If he did it in a proprietary engine editor, there might still be tools available for that engine to export to .obj or .fbx. Either the original creator might be able to do it, or you could get ahold of the tools or engine editor (if its an opensource engine or one with available mod tools) and export it yourself.

 

 

But of course, only do that if you really need the original scene, and it takes  you too long to recreate in Unity.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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I had talks with the leader of one total conversion I used to work on, and we agreed that I could use the custom assets in my own game as long as I pay him a 5% royalty per sale. And the assets look pretty good already, even though they don't have normal maps yet.

 

Here's where it gets tricky. I am making a short tech demo on Unity to show my potential backers that I am serious. But I was told that I would need to pay a programmer to write code to automatically convert the world from the total conversion's engine to Unity. Now, I was able to pay for the pre-made systems which would make development quicker and more effective, but I cannot afford at the moment for a conversion tool.

 

Is it fine to show screenshots of the locations in the old total conversion engine (it's open-source but non-standard) and offer a tech demo of a new place on a completely different engine? Or would the inconsistency be a turn-off for potential backers?

 

Thanks smile.png

 

Could you go into more detail as to what you are trying to do here?

 

So you are developing a new game in a new Engine (Unity), and you take 3D Assets from an old Mod (Conversion = Mod?), to speed up building a prototype / demo in Unity for potential backers to see?

 

Can you go into more detail as to why the scene ("World" = Scene?) cannot be exported to an obj or fbx file and imported that way to unity? I guess we are going offtopic here and these questions should be asked either in the visual arts forum or one of the engine or programming subforums, but I would really try first if you cannot get your hand on a version of the scene that can be imported into unity without having to write a custom importer... that sounds like an extreme amount of overhead for a demo.

 

You should ask the original creator how he created the scene... if he did it in Blender, Maya or similar 3D tools, you can probably ask him for an .obj or .fbx file (Unity will import almost all the common 3D formats, even .blender files).

If he did it in a proprietary engine editor, there might still be tools available for that engine to export to .obj or .fbx. Either the original creator might be able to do it, or you could get ahold of the tools or engine editor (if its an opensource engine or one with available mod tools) and export it yourself.

 

 

But of course, only do that if you really need the original scene, and it takes  you too long to recreate in Unity.

 

 

The story is that I made a mod based on an abandoned total conversion. After numerous failed attempts to make a prototype by myself, I decided to make a spin-off of the mod with its total conversion base. Its current open-source engine has been touted as "archaic" and not suitable for modern game development.

 

My team has agreed that the game would be ported over to Unity but for that, I would need to pay money I don't yet have. My tech demo (Unity) of a new place is going by smoothly but I want to show more than just the inside of one building in the screenshots. I have a perfectly detailed world which I can showcase, but it's only in the old engine, not in Unity.

 

The tech demo is not the problem - it's screenshots of other places which are the problem.

 

PS. The open source engine is non-standard. It contains all of the data in .esp and .esm files, including records and land data. It would require a tool which could read such files and output the same exact levels in Unity, taking into account the scaling and rotation differences between the two engines. Such a tool is not going to be cheap, but it will very much help the development of the actual game in the long run.

Edited by Envy123

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My team has agreed that the game would be ported over to Unity but for that, I would need to pay money I don't yet have.

Reading your posts I would sugguest to re-evaluate your situation before starting a kickstarter. Many people seems to view kickstarter wrong, as the name suggested, it is only a kickstart, a start and not the funding of a whole project. Yes, there are some projects (a hand full?) which over-performes, but the common project funding seems like a drop in the bucket.

 

So, if you want $10000, how do you get the other $90000 to finish a project ? That is something I observe very often in kickstarter projects and I always ask myself, if the project owner really knows how expensive game development is and how they will get all the funding they need  ? It is a business, and kickstart is not a complete funding platform (a publish takes often this role).

 

The basic idea behind kickstart is for me, that you display not only skill, but already a solid investment, either in time or money, therefor programmer art is just a clear sign, that you are not investing money or time and that you believe, that kickstart will deliver a complete funding for your dream. And art is the most expensive part of (most) AAA game development and a reason successful indie projects often use not so expensive art styles.

 

Take a look at natural selection 2. The original first version was a mod, the second part was developed as stand alone game, the final budget for the second part was ~ $2.9M, which is really low-budget compared to AAA games. Here you can read up the post mortom.

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So, if you want $10000, how do you get the other $90000 to finish a project ?

 

 

I second that... If you look at a lot of successfully, high-profile Indie Kickstarter projects, many of them are projects that are almost finished, but ran out of money!

 

That means 90% of the funding/money was there, but because of a combination of misplanning / tight budgets, the last few grands had to be aquired over kickstarter.

This means:

a) showing off your project is easy as by that time, you will have a lot of ingame screenshots, vids and maybe even a playable demo available.

b) maybe the project had time to aquire a fanbase... people already waiting for the game, which makes it easier for them to decide to invest

c) the project is already on a good way, the uncertainity factor is low. Again making it easier for people to reach for their wallets.

 

 

Besides that, some more points to your export / import problems.

1) Archaic engine = archaic assets. I don't know if you are going for a retro look, and I am sure that commissioning redos of these old assets would cost a ton of money, and redoing them yourself might be beyond your skillset and would take a lot of time. But beware investing too much into assets that you will certainly throw away at some point.

2) no export script is perfect. Given that you will most probably will have to cut corners when commisioning your export script, the export might be importable, but without many additional fixes taking additional programmer time and costing additional money, importing to Unity will most probably not go as smooth as you hope. Be it wrong rotations, wrongly placed shaders, whatever... don't expect the magical bullet that will do all the work for you, not without spending ridicolous amounts of money. 

3) You are paying a healthy sum for code that will be one-use. Really, really think hard about it. You are abandoning this engine. You are just trying to export a scene filled with archaic assets that will have to be replaced anyway once, for a demo. All the money you pay for this script might be wasted. Sure, if you are able to make a successfull Kickstarter campaign out of it, it might be a good investment. But you might be able to pay a level designer to recreate the scene from scratch in Unity instead. Might be more work... or not. But generally speaking, a programmers time is more expensive than a level designers (level designer usually are entry level positions), so you might be able to pay for more time when you go that route.

 

 

I really like the idea to try to recreate scenes of your old mod in the new engine to show your dedication, even though I have doubts if that is enough for a Kickstarter campaign (some basic gameplay would be good so that you can at least create vids out of your Unity scene).

I just question if trying to cheap out of level design time in Unity is the best course of action when the existing scene is costing you so much money to export, for an uncertain, and most probably throw away result.

 

 

Can maybe give an estimate what sum of money we are talking about to create the export script? If we have that rough estimate, we can double it twice to make up for the additional money spent to fix all the bugs and maybe also document it to make it usable, and then see how much level design time this would buy you, IF you have the existing assets in a format that can be imported to Unity (And really, if you are talking to the guy that made these, he should be able to provide you these in a format Unity can read).

Edited by Gian-Reto

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My team has agreed that the game would be ported over to Unity but for that, I would need to pay money I don't yet have.

Reading your posts I would sugguest to re-evaluate your situation before starting a kickstarter. Many people seems to view kickstarter wrong, as the name suggested, it is only a kickstart, a start and not the funding of a whole project. Yes, there are some projects (a hand full?) which over-performes, but the common project funding seems like a drop in the bucket.

 

So, if you want $10000, how do you get the other $90000 to finish a project ? That is something I observe very often in kickstarter projects and I always ask myself, if the project owner really knows how expensive game development is and how they will get all the funding they need  ? It is a business, and kickstart is not a complete funding platform (a publish takes often this role).

 

The basic idea behind kickstart is for me, that you display not only skill, but already a solid investment, either in time or money, therefor programmer art is just a clear sign, that you are not investing money or time and that you believe, that kickstart will deliver a complete funding for your dream. And art is the most expensive part of (most) AAA game development and a reason successful indie projects often use not so expensive art styles.

 

Take a look at natural selection 2. The original first version was a mod, the second part was developed as stand alone game, the final budget for the second part was ~ $2.9M, which is really low-budget compared to AAA games. Here you can read up the post mortom.

 

 

The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.

 

No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

 

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

 

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

 

 

 

So, if you want $10000, how do you get the other $90000 to finish a project ?

 

 

I second that... If you look at a lot of successfully, high-profile Indie Kickstarter projects, many of them are projects that are almost finished, but ran out of money!

 

That means 90% of the funding/money was there, but because of a combination of misplanning / tight budgets, the last few grands had to be aquired over kickstarter.

This means:

a) showing off your project is easy as by that time, you will have a lot of ingame screenshots, vids and maybe even a playable demo available.

b) maybe the project had time to aquire a fanbase... people already waiting for the game, which makes it easier for them to decide to invest

c) the project is already on a good way, the uncertainity factor is low. Again making it easier for people to reach for their wallets.

 

 

Besides that, some more points to your export / import problems.

1) Archaic engine = archaic assets. I don't know if you are going for a retro look, and I am sure that commissioning redos of these old assets would cost a ton of money, and redoing them yourself might be beyond your skillset and would take a lot of time. But beware investing too much into assets that you will certainly throw away at some point.

2) no export script is perfect. Given that you will most probably will have to cut corners when commisioning your export script, the export might be importable, but without many additional fixes taking additional programmer time and costing additional money, importing to Unity will most probably not go as smooth as you hope. Be it wrong rotations, wrongly placed shaders, whatever... don't expect the magical bullet that will do all the work for you, not without spending ridicolous amounts of money. 

3) You are paying a healthy sum for code that will be one-use. Really, really think hard about it. You are abandoning this engine. You are just trying to export a scene filled with archaic assets that will have to be replaced anyway once, for a demo. All the money you pay for this script might be wasted. Sure, if you are able to make a successfull Kickstarter campaign out of it, it might be a good investment. But you might be able to pay a level designer to recreate the scene from scratch in Unity instead. Might be more work... or not. But generally speaking, a programmers time is more expensive than a level designers (level designer usually are entry level positions), so you might be able to pay for more time when you go that route.

 

 

I really like the idea to try to recreate scenes of your old mod in the new engine to show your dedication, even though I have doubts if that is enough for a Kickstarter campaign (some basic gameplay would be good so that you can at least create vids out of your Unity scene).

I just question if trying to cheap out of level design time in Unity is the best course of action when the existing scene is costing you so much money to export, for an uncertain, and most probably throw away result.

 

 

Can maybe give an estimate what sum of money we are talking about to create the export script? If we have that rough estimate, we can double it twice to make up for the additional money spent to fix all the bugs and maybe also document it to make it usable, and then see how much level design time this would buy you, IF you have the existing assets in a format that can be imported to Unity (And really, if you are talking to the guy that made these, he should be able to provide you these in a format Unity can read).

 

 

The problem is lack of funding. And no team of artists would work with me, unless I pay them. All the investors who rejected me kept on telling me "to build a product and get paying customers", as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

 

If I had a decent amount of money from investors, I would have spent some money to make a demo for a simple 3D platformer and gotten a good chunk of money on Kickstarter to get the platformer done and branch the game off to a low cost mini-game for smartphones. But I don't - and I have done a lot of work on this mod, plus I have a lot of scrapped content that never saw the public's eyes.

 

The heightmap is done and 70% of the world is done, but it's in a different engine. Porting over assets is very easy to do and the same with level design. I guess it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to try my luck.

 

PS. I had hoped that the world could be automatically ported over, and then destroyed as the storyline has certain settlements destroyed by a volcano. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the world should be done from scratch. If I were to make the world from scratch in Unity, it would be the same as in the mod but it shouldn't be like that. Volcanic activity does change land significantly. And the graphics aren't retro - they are very good assets for 2005, at least. They can easily be ported over - just import into Blender, remove the bounding box and export it to .fbx, and put the textures in the right places.

 

The graphics are the same in both engines, so I had planned a tech demo just to showcase gameplay in one scene and the videos would be the old locations prior to the eruption.

 

And the game does not need a million dollars to make, as this game will be a minimum viable product and is much scaled down from my original idea. After gathering quotes (and multiplying it by 2), I need $300k-$400k max to make this minimum viable product.

Edited by Envy123

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The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.



No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

Hmm... I still think that you have a major missunderstanding of how kickstarter works, it is not "give me free cash for my dream", it is all about "invest in my  business and hard work". If you don't have a business and don't have something to show off, nobody will give you money. If you don't have money to buy hard work, you need to do the hard work yourself.

 

I often see this arguement 'I can't produce a concept/prototype due to lacking funding', it is a typical chicken-egg-dilemma. The pledger are not people who want to get rid off their money, so it is unlikely that they will break the chicken-egg-dilemma. But you want to make a game and therefor it should be in your interest to invest first to break the dilemma.

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The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.



No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

Hmm... I still think that you have a major missunderstanding of how kickstarter works, it is not "give me free cash for my dream", it is all about "invest in my  business and hard work". If you don't have a business and don't have something to show off, nobody will give you money. If you don't have money to buy hard work, you need to do the hard work yourself.

 

I often see this arguement 'I can't produce a concept/prototype due to lacking funding', it is a typical chicken-egg-dilemma. The pledger are not people who want to get rid off their money, so it is unlikely that they will break the chicken-egg-dilemma. But you want to make a game and therefor it should be in your interest to invest first to break the dilemma.

 

 

I agreed to give a 5% royalty with the original creator, so I could use the assets and the world. I changed the world significantly because it suffered a natural disaster. All my hard work for it was unreleased content that didn't ever see the public's eyes. It would be a waste if I wouldn't get compensated somehow for it all. It's my baby, since 2008. :)

 

But my team wants a change in engine as it would be more efficient in terms of development time. Some problems have arised from it:

 

1). The two engines are different and I doubt there is a flawless way that would convert over the dialogue and quests I have already done, as well as the changed world to Unity.

 

2). My backers would likely distrust me if I were to say in the middle of development, that for unforeseen reasons, I decided to change the engine. Wouldn't they?

 

So it's more like "I built a prototype where 60% of the world and 100% of the story has been done, but I want the assets and graphics to be modernised.". But my team has reason to believe that it would be far easier to start from scratch and manually port over my quest and dialogue work between engines, than just edit the open-source engine's code for better graphics, LOD and a better dialogue window.

Edited by Envy123

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So, is having programmer art for a Kickstarter demo/prototype acceptable? And if not, is it possible to get artists to work on an equity share with a working prototype which needs polish? I know it's close to impossible with just an idea but I heard that it's more likely with a prototype.

 

From where I stand, assuming late Kickstarter's quality standards, I'd say programmer art would definitely be sub-par. You have to realize a lot of developers use Kickstarter as a means to put the game to market while it is actually completed (or close to) so it is hard to compete with these graphically.

Having an artist work on equity is very rare. If you plan to go down that road, I recommend going local, one tried way of doing that is working in the industry, build strong ties, and leave with like-minded individuals to get started on your project. A lot of successful businesses have started this way locally lately.

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So, is having programmer art for a Kickstarter demo/prototype acceptable?

It seems that there are lot of arguments in this thread to help you answer this question. If you start a kickstarter, I'm sure that you get either money or experience, both seem to be useful in your case.

 

Good luck smile.png

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After gathering quotes (and multiplying it by 2), I need $300k-$400k max to make this minimum viable product.

Looking at my own backer history, most of these games were asking for ~$10k to ~$50k: paradigm, kona, monsters den godfall, wildfire, basement, nefarious, gunscape, hand of fate, dex, arakion, legends-of-eisenwald, ravaged, the dead linger... and they almost universally have impressive art sad.png
 

All the investors who rejected me kept on telling me "to build a product and get paying customers", as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

Other business people don't care about how hard your job is. They only care about how easily you can make a profit for them - if the answer is "not easily", then the conversation is likely over...

 

 

Maybe you can release a version of the game with terribad art for free, and hope that some great artists play it, love it, and want to work on it?

Edited by Hodgman

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Well, I had already solved the programmer art issue entirely, by asking permission to use assets from an old project of mine. They're right for their atmosphere and very high quality but they would need a bit of a revamp in places.

 

It's just the game is likely to switch engines and I'm worried my potential backers aren't going to like that.

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The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.

 

No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

 

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

 

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

 

1) Almost no one has Zero Money... else he would have starved a long time ago in todays society (given you live in a country developed enough to have moved over copletly to a money based economy)...

Now, how you spend the money you have is a different thing.

Is it wise to spend grocery money on assets from the assets store? Well, only if you still can eat healthy and do not ned to go hungry because of that.

Is it wise to spend the money on an RPG and Dialogue system that you might have developped yourself if you had any programming skills, when obviously you badly need better art? Probably not, given you have programming skills.

 

Get a budget, and spend the money smart. Even with little money you could achieve a lot if you make sure every penny counts.

Or, given you cannot spare any money at all, wake up to the fact that you are on your own. Period. No shady equity schema will lure in the talent you need, you either get skilled enough yourself to build the minimum viable product, you sacle down your project to make it easier to achieve, or you forget about it.

 

2) Make sure you understand this: without a proven track record, a studio with expierience, or an almost finished product you can show, you are a nobody to investors. What they tell you might sound like a "chicken-and-egg" dilemma, but its just the hard truth and actually a honest and well meant hint.

 

Would you invest money, be it only 4000$, into a nobody you just met that approaches you with a project of his that sounded pretty shady... like in, unfinished, no team or expireince to asure you the project might be completed someday, and so on....

Would you believe he will invest the money wisely and create something awesome, or would you rather think either he will waste the money and fail, or he would take the money and ran?

 

Most things in the business world are founded on mutual trust... if you don't trust somebody, you will not lend him money, hand over the plans for the goods they should produce for you, produce something in the good faith that the other party will be able to pay for it later.

Trust is something you have to earn, and it takes time and work to do that. If you want investors to believe in you, you have to show them something extraordinary... an extraordinary track record (doesn't sound like you have any), an extraordinary product (which you haven't develop far enough to really show), an extraordinary company (which again, you don't seem to have)...

 

 

 

The problem is lack of funding. And no team of artists would work with me, unless I pay them. All the investors who rejected me kept on telling me "to build a product and get paying customers", as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

 

If I had a decent amount of money from investors, I would have spent some money to make a demo for a simple 3D platformer and gotten a good chunk of money on Kickstarter to get the platformer done and branch the game off to a low cost mini-game for smartphones. But I don't - and I have done a lot of work on this mod, plus I have a lot of scrapped content that never saw the public's eyes.

 

The heightmap is done and 70% of the world is done, but it's in a different engine. Porting over assets is very easy to do and the same with level design. I guess it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to try my luck.

 

PS. I had hoped that the world could be automatically ported over, and then destroyed as the storyline has certain settlements destroyed by a volcano. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the world should be done from scratch. If I were to make the world from scratch in Unity, it would be the same as in the mod but it shouldn't be like that. Volcanic activity does change land significantly. And the graphics aren't retro - they are very good assets for 2005, at least. They can easily be ported over - just import into Blender, remove the bounding box and export it to .fbx, and put the textures in the right places.

 

The graphics are the same in both engines, so I had planned a tech demo just to showcase gameplay in one scene and the videos would be the old locations prior to the eruption.

 

And the game does not need a million dollars to make, as this game will be a minimum viable product and is much scaled down from my original idea. After gathering quotes (and multiplying it by 2), I need $300k-$400k max to make this minimum viable product.

 

 

Okay reading that and others of your comments, I think you need to do some reality check... in addition to what I wrote above:

 

1) You will most probably not be able to assemble a Team without paying... you are on your own. Scale the first prototypes accordingly

 

2) You will most probably get no funding at all before creating an extraordinary prototype...

 

3) Result of both points above... in the end, you will have to do most of the work, if you don't manage to get funding.

 

 

Before anyone will be able to help your further, we need additional information:

 

1) what is your expierience with:

  a) programming

  b) art (3D, 2D)

  c) Game and Level Design

  d) Marketing, Storywriting, and other needed skillsets to be successfull as an Indie

 

2) What is your track record? Any finished games or mods? You keep talking of an unfinished mod that never got released, why wasn't it released?

 

3) What is your current job? Are you still a student? What do you study?

 

4) What are your long term plans? Are you doing this to get a foot in as an Indie? Do you plan to study CS, Art or Game Design and get into the Game dev industry? Are you trying to cash in on one lucky hit?

 

 

You need to realize, and maybe also make sure your mother realizes this:

Game Dev is hard.... creating not only a game, but one that pays off is even harder. about 10-20% of projects will ever pay off. The others either fail early or just fail in the market.

Your current project has a high chance of failing even if you get the funding and are able to complete it. There are valid reasons to still try to complete it, be it for expierience, fun, or just trying to get lucky. But if you cannot invest time and money into it that you can "throw away" (because you happen to have enough money and you like to spend time on the project), you better invest it somewhere else.

 

Depending on where you stand in your professional career, you might either

 

1) make sure to get a job that pays well but leaves you enough free time, so you can work on the project and save money to invest into it.

 

2) put your current project on ice and first develop the needed skills (programming, art, whatever) to have a chance of completing it, or at least build a prototype that can convince others.

 

3) Study CS or any other field that might net you a job in the industry, work in it for some years to get expierience and good contacts, save up money, and start-up your project anew once you are ready.

 

No matter how you look at it, it doesn't sound like you are ready to pursue your current project at the moment.

 

 

 

Well, I had already solved the programmer art issue entirely, by asking permission to use assets from an old project of mine. They're right for their atmosphere and very high quality but they would need a bit of a revamp in places.

 

It's just the game is likely to switch engines and I'm worried my potential backers aren't going to like that.

 

Good for you if that solves your art issues.... I take from that you have some expierience working with 3D art?

 

I think the engine switch is the least of your problems. If anything, gamers are always whining for devs to move to a newer engine. Game developers might know that this is a huge potential risks, gamers (which are mostly your backers on KS) will only dream about the potential pay off....

 

"Multi core support, so sexy"... yes, says the guy that has a dual core weak ass notebook that will not see much gain from multithreading anyway, because of no turboboosting anymore when all cores are under load, the CPU throttling under full load, GPU being too weak to really leave the CPU as a bottleneck, and so on.

 

1) Your Kickstarter audience are mostly consumers. Doesn't mean they have no idea, but they will see things differently. To them "Cryengine" means lots of visual glitz... not bad performance (that might be my prejudice now, as it seems to perform poorly even on powerful machines) and an ancient editor. Because they always will only see the consumer side of an engine, and only on their machine (which might be extremly powerful or weak leading to wrong assumptions about the performance of an engine).

 

2) Given that, a newer engine is mostly seen as a good thing. Throw out some keywords like multicore support, 64bit support, physically based shader support and sutff like that, and they will totally buy it (even though most of them have no idea what is really behind these keywords).

 

3) Given that you care about what people think of the engine, Unity might not be your best bet. Unity seemed to have gathered some bad press on Steam and other consumer forums, people seem to think of it as an inferior engine.

Doesn't mean that is really true, what most probably happened is because Unity has been free and available to hobbyists and amateurs for some time and easier to get into than UDK and UE4, a lot of subpar games have been produced with it. That will taint the name of an engine over time, like it did with Gamemaker.

 

You could either try to go under the radar by not mentioning the name of the engine, or you could go all out by not only mentioning Unity, but at the same time show what you can do now thanks to unity. People will quickly forget about an engines bad name if you show them the shiny...

Edited by Gian-Reto

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The problem is that I now have no money to make a game. Zero. Zilch. None of my previous prototypes worked out because I am not an artist. And I can't afford to pay an artist right at this moment.

 

No investor would fund me because I only have a track record in mods and I do not have traction in user growth or revenue. And I am stuck in the vicious cycle "I can't get funding because I have no traction because I can't get funding...". So this mod is my only chance of getting traction when I have no funds.

 

I did pay for the RPG system and dialogue system from the Unity Asset Store but that was grocery money I sacrificed. My family probably wouldn't forgive me for it.

 

And it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to get a kickstarter as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. There was going to be a million dollar sale for my mother's business, but it fell through at the last minute, and I hoped that I would have used the money for a demo of a different game.

 

1) Almost no one has Zero Money... else he would have starved a long time ago in todays society (given you live in a country developed enough to have moved over copletly to a money based economy)...

Now, how you spend the money you have is a different thing.

Is it wise to spend grocery money on assets from the assets store? Well, only if you still can eat healthy and do not ned to go hungry because of that.

Is it wise to spend the money on an RPG and Dialogue system that you might have developped yourself if you had any programming skills, when obviously you badly need better art? Probably not, given you have programming skills.

 

Get a budget, and spend the money smart. Even with little money you could achieve a lot if you make sure every penny counts.

Or, given you cannot spare any money at all, wake up to the fact that you are on your own. Period. No shady equity schema will lure in the talent you need, you either get skilled enough yourself to build the minimum viable product, you sacle down your project to make it easier to achieve, or you forget about it.

 

2) Make sure you understand this: without a proven track record, a studio with expierience, or an almost finished product you can show, you are a nobody to investors. What they tell you might sound like a "chicken-and-egg" dilemma, but its just the hard truth and actually a honest and well meant hint.

 

Would you invest money, be it only 4000$, into a nobody you just met that approaches you with a project of his that sounded pretty shady... like in, unfinished, no team or expireince to asure you the project might be completed someday, and so on....

Would you believe he will invest the money wisely and create something awesome, or would you rather think either he will waste the money and fail, or he would take the money and ran?

 

Most things in the business world are founded on mutual trust... if you don't trust somebody, you will not lend him money, hand over the plans for the goods they should produce for you, produce something in the good faith that the other party will be able to pay for it later.

Trust is something you have to earn, and it takes time and work to do that. If you want investors to believe in you, you have to show them something extraordinary... an extraordinary track record (doesn't sound like you have any), an extraordinary product (which you haven't develop far enough to really show), an extraordinary company (which again, you don't seem to have)...

 

 

 

The problem is lack of funding. And no team of artists would work with me, unless I pay them. All the investors who rejected me kept on telling me "to build a product and get paying customers", as if it was the easiest thing in the world.

 

If I had a decent amount of money from investors, I would have spent some money to make a demo for a simple 3D platformer and gotten a good chunk of money on Kickstarter to get the platformer done and branch the game off to a low cost mini-game for smartphones. But I don't - and I have done a lot of work on this mod, plus I have a lot of scrapped content that never saw the public's eyes.

 

The heightmap is done and 70% of the world is done, but it's in a different engine. Porting over assets is very easy to do and the same with level design. I guess it doesn't help that my mother is breathing down my neck and urging me to try my luck.

 

PS. I had hoped that the world could be automatically ported over, and then destroyed as the storyline has certain settlements destroyed by a volcano. But the more I think about it, the more I think that the world should be done from scratch. If I were to make the world from scratch in Unity, it would be the same as in the mod but it shouldn't be like that. Volcanic activity does change land significantly. And the graphics aren't retro - they are very good assets for 2005, at least. They can easily be ported over - just import into Blender, remove the bounding box and export it to .fbx, and put the textures in the right places.

 

The graphics are the same in both engines, so I had planned a tech demo just to showcase gameplay in one scene and the videos would be the old locations prior to the eruption.

 

And the game does not need a million dollars to make, as this game will be a minimum viable product and is much scaled down from my original idea. After gathering quotes (and multiplying it by 2), I need $300k-$400k max to make this minimum viable product.

 

 

Okay reading that and others of your comments, I think you need to do some reality check... in addition to what I wrote above:

 

1) You will most probably not be able to assemble a Team without paying... you are on your own. Scale the first prototypes accordingly

2) You will most probably get no funding at all before creating an extraordinary prototype...

3) Result of both points above... in the end, you will have to do most of the work, if you don't manage to get funding.

 

Before anyone will be able to help your further, we need additional information:

1) what is your expierience with:

  a) programming

  b) art (3D, 2D)

  c) Game and Level Design

  d) Marketing, Storywriting, and other needed skillsets to be successfull as an Indie

2) What is your track record? Any finished games or mods? You keep talking of an unfinished mod that never got released, why wasn't it released?

3) What is your current job? Are you still a student? What do you study?

4) What are your long term plans? Are you doing this to get a foot in as an Indie? Do you plan to study CS, Art or Game Design and get into the Game dev industry? Are you trying to cash in on one lucky hit?

 

 

You need to realize, and maybe also make sure your mother realizes this:

Game Dev is hard.... creating not only a game, but one that pays off is even harder. about 10-20% of projects will ever pay off. The others either fail early or just fail in the market.

Your current project has a high chance of failing even if you get the funding and are able to complete it. There are valid reasons to still try to complete it, be it for expierience, fun, or just trying to get lucky. But if you cannot invest time and money into it that you can "throw away" (because you happen to have enough money and you like to spend time on the project), you better invest it somewhere else.

 

Depending on where you stand in your professional career, you might either

1) make sure to get a job that pays well but leaves you enough free time, so you can work on the project and save money to invest into it.

2) put your current project on ice and first develop the needed skills (programming, art, whatever) to have a chance of completing it, or at least build a prototype that can convince others.

3) Study CS or any other field that might net you a job in the industry, work in it for some years to get expierience and good contacts, save up money, and start-up your project anew once you are ready.

 

No matter how you look at it, it doesn't sound like you are ready to pursue your current project at the moment.

 

 

 

Well, I had already solved the programmer art issue entirely, by asking permission to use assets from an old project of mine. They're right for their atmosphere and very high quality but they would need a bit of a revamp in places.

 

It's just the game is likely to switch engines and I'm worried my potential backers aren't going to like that.

 

Good for you if that solves your art issues.... I take from that you have some expierience working with 3D art?

 

I think the engine switch is the least of your problems. If anything, gamers are always whining for devs to move to a newer engine. Game developers might know that this is a huge potential risks, gamers (which are mostly your backers on KS) will only dream about the potential pay off....

 

"Multi core support, so sexy"... yes, says the guy that has a dual core weak ass notebook that will not see much gain from multithreading anyway, because of no turboboosting anymore when all cores are under load, the CPU throttling under full load, GPU being too weak to really leave the CPU as a bottleneck, and so on.

 

1) Your Kickstarter audience are mostly consumers. Doesn't mean they have no idea, but they will see things differently. To them "Cryengine" means lots of visual glitz... not bad performance (that might be my prejudice now, as it seems to perform poorly even on powerful machines) and an ancient editor. Because they always will only see the consumer side of an engine, and only on their machine (which might be extremly powerful or weak leading to wrong assumptions about the performance of an engine).

2) Given that, a newer engine is mostly seen as a good thing. Throw out some keaywords like multicore support, 64bit support, physically based shader support and sutff like that, and they will totally buy it (even though most of them have no idea what is really behind these keywords).

3) Given that you care about what people think of the engine, Unity might not be your best bet. Unity seemed to have gathered some bad press on Steam and other consumer forums, people seem to think of it as an inferior engine.

Doesn't mean that is really true, what most probably happened is because Unity has been free and available to hobbyists and amateurs for some time and easier to get into than UDK and UE4, a lot of subpar games have been produced with it. That will taint the name of an engine over time, like it did with Gamemaker.

 

You could either try to go under the radar by not mentioning the name of the engine, or you could go all out by not only mentioning Unity, but at the same time show what you can do now thanks to unity. People will quickly forget about an engines bad name if you show them the shiny...

 

 

I was worried about showing the game in an engine that my team would refuse to work on. 7 years for a minimum viable product on the old one, 3 years max on Unity. I'd much rather pick the latter and re-do my work from scratch.

 

The original creators of the total conversion put their creation into my hands, trusting that I would not mess up the game. Just hearing that I was able to release the expansions that I made, made them trust me even more. I have a track record with this game back when it was just a mod - two full public releases chock full of content. The third release never materialised, but so much work and time has been put into it. I want to turn it into an indie game, considering it's a total conversion and only uses custom assets. But I need funding to improve the engine and art assets. And the assets were from their team, I was given full permission to use them as long as I would replace everything afterwards which was going to be done regardless.

 

I have experience in storywriting, some coding, some basic 3D art and game design. I also have some experience in marketing my mods. I released several mods, including resurrecting and finishing one big Oblivion mod (which was thought to be impossible to be resurrected, until I came along). Only have a track record in mods, not indie games at the moment. I'm graduating university this year and I'm studying Economics - great for business but not so great for indie game development. Currently, my plans are:

 

1). If I do get funding for the RPG, great, I go and develop that. I also will invest into a low cost minigame game for smartphones, which is unfortunately riskier than a PC game.

 

2). If I do not, I'll either save up money or get a microloan from Start Up Loans and develop a low cost minigame game for smartphones, which covers all bases including aggressive marketing for it to stand out. I can't just develop a mobile game and release it with some marketing - it has to go full out. The advantage of the low file size requirement is that not much art is needed - the disadvantage is that I may have to pay someone to compress everything down to <100MB. The microloan includes a reserve budget, just in case things do fall through.

 

So whichever indie game in my current pipeline would be greenlit by funding, it would be developed and released first. I will keep pushing it until it happens.

 

Unity is much more intuitive than UE4. Much, much more. I feel like I can do more in less time. UE4's landscaping system was unnecessarily difficult, its dialogue system tutorial is unintuitive and there are no presets that I could buy to save time. So, following your advice, I'm just not going to mention the engine, I'm just going to say that I'm updating the game. smile.png

 

I'm not worried about which engine will power the game, I'm worried that I'm going to show videos and screenshots of the game in one engine, then the engine would be switched and my backers would be shown screenshots and videos in a completely different engine.

Edited by Envy123

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time. So, following your advice, I'm just not going to mention the engine, I'm just going to say that I'm updating the game. smile.png

I'm not worried about which engine will power the game, I'm worried that I'm going to show videos and screenshots of the game in one engine, then the engine would be switched and my backers would be shown screenshots and videos in a completely different engine.

 

 

Again, make sure the game looks better in the newer engine, or mention the new features / performance improvements made possible by the new engine.

 

An engine from 10 years ago most probably is not able to multithread at all... Unity is not top of the class here, but at least the physics are now properly multithreaded with PhysX 3.3...

 

10 years ago, pixel lighting and bump mapping was just starting to appear in most games.... with Unity 5, you can use GI and other modern technologies to make your game look better with just a little bit of tweaking.

 

You could probably upgrade the old assets to use the new PBR standart shader if you create the additional maps needed in an image editor. For non-metallic parts of the assets thats gonna be easy if you take the specular route instead of the metallicity one. Take the old spec map, create gloss and spec from it, tweak the brightness. For the metallic ones you need to add colors to the metallic parts, which is a little bit more complicated, still, the result does look spectacular if done well, so might be worth it.

 

 

Just mention the good stuff, leave out the boring technical details that consumers mostly don't care about. If somebody asks, you can still tell him what engine you switched to. If somebody is questioning the decision ("Why u not Cryengine???"), you could just respond with some clever prepared statement, and then again let the shiny before-after pics do the talking.

Really, your upgrade should give you more than enough improvements to talk about.

 

 

3 years instead of 7 sound very viable considering how good and intuitive the Unity editor is if you have used Unity before, and how engine editors mostly looked 10 years ago.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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time. So, following your advice, I'm just not going to mention the engine, I'm just going to say that I'm updating the game. smile.png

I'm not worried about which engine will power the game, I'm worried that I'm going to show videos and screenshots of the game in one engine, then the engine would be switched and my backers would be shown screenshots and videos in a completely different engine.

 

 

Again, make sure the game looks better in the newer engine, or mention the new features / performance improvements made possible by the new engine.

 

An engine from 10 years ago most probably is not able to multithread at all... Unity is not top of the class here, but at least the physics are now properly multithreaded with PhysX 3.3...

 

10 years ago, pixel lighting and bump mapping was just starting to appear in most games.... with Unity 5, you can use GI and other modern technologies to make your game look better with just a little bit of tweaking.

 

You could probably upgrade the old assets to use the new PBR standart shader if you create the additional maps needed in an image editor. For non-metallic parts of the assets thats gonna be easy if you take the specular route instead of the metallicity one. Take the old spec map, create gloss and spec from it, tweak the brightness. For the metallic ones you need to add colors to the metallic parts, which is a little bit more complicated, still, the result does look spectacular if done well, so might be worth it.

 

 

Just mention the good stuff, leave out the boring technical details that consumers mostly don't care about. If somebody asks, you can still tell him what engine you switched to. If somebody is questioning the decision ("Why u not Cryengine???"), you could just respond with some clever prepared statement, and then again let the shiny before-after pics do the talking.

Really, your upgrade should give you more than enough improvements to talk about.

 

 

3 years instead of 7 sound very viable considering how good and intuitive the Unity editor is if you have used Unity before, and how engine editors mostly looked 10 years ago.

 

 

Because I use the same assets in both engines, they look the same no matter where they're placed. But once they get to be replaced, it will look much better :)

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Because I use the same assets in both engines, they look the same no matter where they're placed. But once they get to be replaced, it will look much better smile.png

 

 

The asset alone is only one half of the equation. You can still use a better shader, better lighting and post effects to make the assets loke nicer than in the old engine.

 

Especially the lighting has come a long way since 2005 (I'm just guesstimating the age of the old engine here)... use deferred (that wasn't used a lot back then) and you can put much more lights in your scene (though you still need to find a good balance to not overburden the system)... use the new enlighten system, and the standart shader to make the assets look pbr like (you might need to improvise an additional map for that though)...

 

Some shaders can also add additional glitz to your assets without additonal work from your side, be it rim lighting, the mentioned pbr, or some other effects that make your assets look more "high quality".

 

And I would bet the old game lacked many modern post effects... no idea if your platform of choice has enough grunt for it, but with some AO, bloom, and light flares things already start to look much better with little work involved on your side (just be aware, if you want the best posteffects and light flares, you might need to spend something on the Unity asset store as the built in versions are rather crappy).

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